In a controversial decision, the Trump administration is allowing a trophy hunter to import the body parts of a rare black rhinoceros into the US.
Chris D. Peyerk paid $400,000 to an anti-poaching program to kill the rhino. He hunted the animal in Namibia last year, and he will now be issued an import permit by the Fish and Wildlife Service to bring the animal’s skin, skull, and horns to the US, reports the Associated Press. The animal is protected under the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits the import of endangered animal trophies.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are only 5,500 black rhinos left in the wild, and poaching of the animal remains a huge threat. In Namibia, only five male black rhinos a year are allowed to be killed by hunters.
Permits for importing body parts to the US are only issued if doing so will benefit the species’ survival. Indeed, the Fish and Wildlife Service says, “Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.”
This is the third of such permit given to a trophy hunter since President Trump took office in 2016. Three permits were also delivered during the Obama administration.